According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), more than 1.8 GW of wind energy capacity was installed in five provinces in Canada in 2014, with most growth centered in Ontario (850 MW), Quebec (439 MW) and Alberta (350 MW). Canada ended 2014 with nearly 9.7 GW of installed wind energy capacity, producing enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 3 million average Canadian homes every year.
‘Canada's 37 new wind energy projects in 2014 represent over $3.5 billion in investment,’ says CanWEA President Robert Hornung. ‘Wind energy has now brought economic growth and diversification to more than 100 rural communities across Canada through land lease income, tax payments and community benefits agreements. Of the 37 new wind energy projects installed in 2014, 15 projects also include significant ownership stakes from First Nations, municipal corporations or local farmers.’
What's more, 2014 also produced more evidence of the cost-competitiveness of wind energy, as the year ended with Quebec awarding contracts for 446 MW of new wind energy projects that will provide power at an average cost of C$0.063/kWh.
Although every market is unique, it is clear that wind energy can compete on cost with virtually all forms of new electricity generation, including nuclear, hydroelectric and coal-fired generation, the association notes.
‘Wind energy has demonstrated that it is a proven, reliable and cost-competitive energy solution that drives economic diversification, environmental sustainability and rate-base value,’ adds Hornung. ‘These attributes will continue to drive wind energy growth in 2015, where we expect a minimum of another 1,500 MW of new wind energy capacity to come online.Â This coming year will also see new wind energy contracts awarded in Ontario, a new Energy Strategy in Quebec and a new climate change framework in Alberta that may open the door to accelerated wind energy development in that province.’
The Canadian market was split between seven wind turbine manufacturers in 2014, with more than 98% of new wind capacity emanating from five manufacturers: Siemens, GE, Vestas, ENERCON and Senvion.
Together, Siemens and GE supplied more than half of the installed wind turbines in 2014.